The Union Square (Piața Unirii) is one of the main squares in Bucharest, as the intersection of several axes of the city, including I.C. Brătianu Boulevard, Dimitrie Cantemir Boulevard and Union Boulevard.
Although most of the buildings around the Union Square have been built between 1986 and 1988, this place existed already in the 18th century, under the name Great Market. This market was smaller than today’s Union Square, being located in the north of it, in front of Manuc’s Inn. The former Town Hall of Bucharest was located in this little square too, until the 19th century.
Between 1872 and 1900, the first systematization of the square took place and the new axis named Calea Călărașilor (today’s boulevards of Queen Mary and Corneliu Coposu) was opened. At the same time, the Union Square was extended and built with the Union Halls, a market complex similar to the one in Paris, composed by 6 market halls: The Great Hall (meat market), the Bibescu Market (vegetable market), the Fish Hall, the Flower Market, the Bird Hall and the Fruit Hall. All central halls and pavilions were demolished during the 20th century.
In 1943, the I.C. Brătianu Boulevard was built in the eastern side of the square and important parts of the Old Town of Bucharest were demolished, including parts of the two central squares St. George and St. Anthony. In 1976, other parts of the eastern side of the square were demolished, among others also large parts of the Jewish Quarter of Bucharest, to make place for the Union Shop (today’s Unirea Shopping Center).
Between 1983 and 1988, one-fifth of the city was demolished and the new Civic Center was built, having as hub the Union Square, which was expanded and modernized. Within this project, many buildings with historical value were demolished, including the Brâncoveanu Hospital (until 1983 on the west side of the Union Square), the Mihai Vodă Monastery (in the north of the Izvor Park), the Văcărești Monastery and the Union Halls.